Vancouver’s air quality affected as several wildfires rage across British Columbia
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VANCOUVER — Several large fires have been burning in British Columbia, and the Vancouver International Airport is experiencing short-term smoke alerts.
On Wednesday, a blaze known as the Big Creek Fire started on a hillside above the airport and quickly advanced, threatening homes and businesses in the area. Many have reported damage to their property. The fire was 50% contained as of Wednesday morning.
On Thursday, fire crews used hoses to extinguish another large wildfire in the area known as the Fireweed Fire. Another blaze started in the same area Thursday morning.
In British Columbia, wildfire smoke has been affecting people at higher elevations. Some are seeking to keep windows closed, some are avoiding outdoor activities in the area, and some are hoping it’s only a bad haze.
“I don’t think we would have had much of a problem had it not been for the red flag warning,” said Ryan Vyse, who lives in the area where the wildfire was burning.
Vancouver International Airport is also under a red-flag alert, according to the fire department. The airport issued a statement saying the warning was in place because of the “potential risk to civil aviation and passengers.”
Officials have also issued an advisory for people who live in or around the fire areas. The Air Canada plane that went down in British Columbia over the weekend was carrying 50 people and 11 crew members out of the airport. No injuries were reported.
The fire started Wednesday evening, according to the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Department. There were unconfirmed reports of three more blazes starting on Wednesday but the department had no information to release about them.
The first fire is burning on a hill above the runway. It was reported to be in a residential area. No injuries were reported in the community.
The fire was reported by a homeowner in the area, said Kevin Parker, one of the firefighters with the fire department.
They arrived at the fire shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday to extinguish the blaze, he said.